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Countdown to Halloween

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WildKat was almost empty of customers, like always. Well, in fact Neku was the only customer now that Tenho had left. Not for the first time, Neku wondered how Hanekoma payed the bills. Even if he overcharged for his coffee, that couldn’t be enough?

“Hey, Phones?”

Neku looked up from his drawing to see Hanekoma gesture to him to come closer.

“What?” he asked while closing his sketchbook.
“Wanna try something new? On the house.”

Hanekoma was holding a large cup. Neku shrugged, got up and took a look at it.

“What is it?”
“Pumpkin juice.”
“Don’t you have pumpkin *soup* already?”

He took a sip. It tasted strange, but not bad.

“Yeah, but it’s trending right now,” Hanekoma explained. “With Halloween coming, you know.”
“What is everybody’s problem with Halloween?” Neku asked. “Didn’t know it was so popular, and now it’s all everyone’s talking about…”

Hanekoma smiled.

“So, how is it?”
“Well… Honestly, I prefer the soup, but it’s edible.”
“Halloween is a celebration of the dead and the invisible. Don’t you think it makes sense for your friends to be interested…?”

Neku froze. He was talking about the Game, wasn’t he? But Hanekoma was already back to his coffee machine, and Neku was left pondering.